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No Cause of Action for “Negligent Misidentification”

April 20, 2018

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In <a href="https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/attorneys/assets/opinions/appellate/published/a2268-16.pdf"><em>Morris v. T.D. Bank</em></a>, plaintiff alleged he was behind an individual in line at defendant’s bank.  That individual gave the bank teller a note demanding money as part of a hold-up.  After the robber left, another bank employee, believing plaintiff to be the robber, secured the bank and called the police.  The police then questioned plaintiff.  Plaintiff sued the bank for negligence, false imprisonment, assault and violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.  He alleged that as a result of defendant’s conduct, he suffered from emotional distress, poor sleep and fear of the police.
The court ruled that plaintiff’s alleged injuries did not result from defendant’s breach of the duty to maintain safe premises.  The court viewed plaintiff’s claim as one of “negligent misidentification” and held that no such cause of action has ever been recognized.
Thanks to Michael Noblett for his contribution to this post.
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